OTTAWA – The number of veterans waiting to find out whether they qualify for disability benefits has skyrocketed over the last eight months, new figures show, leaving thousands of former military members in limbo.
Veterans Affairs Canada says there were about 29,000 applications for disability benefits in the queue waiting to be processed at the end of November — a nearly 50 per cent increase since the end of March.
Nearly one-third of those applications have been in the line for more than 16 weeks, which is also an increase since the spring and a sign that wait times are continuing to grow.
Veterans’ advocates have long criticized how long some retired service members have been forced to wait to find out whether they qualify for support and services after sustaining an injury in uniform.
Federal auditor general Michael Ferguson also previously flagged concerns about delays in processing applications from those who have suffered psychological trauma.